Breast Exams in Chicago, IL
Breast Cancer Education
Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the breast tissue. While it can’t be totally prevented, in addition to leading a healthy lifestyle, early detection through regular screening is the most effective way to stay ahead of the disease. Through improvements of treatments and early detection, the rates of breast cancer deaths have steadily declined since 1989.
The expertly trained OBGYNs at Women First Specialists have extensive experience performing routine breast exams to help catch signs of breast cancer early. If you have identified a lump or have concerns about your breast health, call (773) 792-0209 to request an appointment at our OBGYN office in Chicago, IL today.
Breast Cancer Statistics
- A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer sometime in her life is approximately 1 in 8.
- Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer among women, next to skin cancer.
- On average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes in the United States.
- The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 39 (about 2.5%).
- In the United States, the 5-year relative survival rate for all forms and stages of breast cancer collectively is 91%.
The cause of breast cancer is unknown. Most people with breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. We do however know that the disease is caused by damage to a cell’s DNA.
Research does show that there are certain risk factors associated with breast cancer.
It’s important to note, research has shown that most women with known risk factors do not get breast cancer and that many women who get breast cancer have none of the risk factors listed below.
Genetic risk factors (risk factors that cannot be changed)
- Race and ethnicity: Breast cancers are more often diagnosed in Caucasian women compared to other races. African American women are more likely to develop breast cancer among women under the age of 40. Mortality rates are higher in African American women.
- Gender: Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men
- Age: Breast cancer risk increases as a woman ages. Approximately 77% of women with breast cancer are over age 50 when they are diagnosed
- Family history: Individuals are at an increased risk if they have a mother, sister, father, or child who has breast or ovarian cancer. The risk further increases if that individual was under the age of 50.
- Personal health history: If you have had breast or ovarian cancer before, you are at higher risk for developing the disease again.
Environmental and lifestyle risk factors (risk factors that can be changed)
- Lack of diet and exercise: Those who are overweight and/or get little physical activity have a higher risk of breast cancer.
- Frequent alcohol use: Frequent consumption of alcohol increases a person’s risk for diseases including breast cancer.
- Breast conditions: Women with dense breasts or changes in breast tissue are at an increased risk.
- Radiation: Radiation to the chest is another associated risk, though usually unavoidable.
- Menstrual cycles: Early onset of menstruation (before age 12) or late onset of menopause (after age 55) increases risk. Additionally, no childbearing or late childbearing, absence of breastfeeding, and taking hormone replacement therapy for extended periods of time can increase a woman’s risk.
Prevention and Detection
Because the cause of breast cancer is unknown, finding and treating it early is the best method of prevention.
- Breast Self Exam
- Women 20 or older should perform every month
- Clinical Breast Exam by a Physician
- Women age 20-39 should have one every 3 years
- Women over 40 should have one annually
- Women aged 40 and older should have a mammogram once a year if they are at average risk.
- Mammograms can identify a breast mass as much as 2 years before it can be detected by touch.
- Breast MRI
- Breast Biopsy
All women should discuss their personal risk for breast cancer with their physician, as some women with an increased risk may need to begin screenings and other preventive measures early.
Typical treatments of breast cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biologic therapy.
Take Charge of Your Breast Health
Regular breast exams are an essential part of preventative care and help to catch concerns early. Call (773) 792-0209 to request an appointment with an expertly trained OBGYN today.
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